What is the fate of reading?

My livelihood depends upon the written word. I write, I read, I research, I edit. I consume magazines and books, web content and news. I like my reading to be fresh, well written and artfully presented.

I’m not a fan of rambling blogs, and I don’t Twitter. Who has time? In today’s techno-immersed world, my attention is torn between radios, cell phones, computers, iThings, newspapers, magazines, books, DVDs and television. No wonder neuroenhancing drugs that help us focus are becoming so popular.

What is the fate of reading? Are we really going to give up a good article for YouTube videos and tweets? It was not that long ago that literacy amongst the general public was the exception, not the rule. In recent times, kids were thought to be abandoning reading for television and computer games. Then the Harry Potter books hit the shelves and sold in the hundreds of millions. Just about everyone is reading their emails, text messages, social networks or blogs.

I have no doubt that future publications will take new forms: Many newspapers are now available only online; wireless readers are quickly improving; and magazines sport virtual alter egos on the Web. Regardless of the vehicle, the content is still sought after.

If you want reliable information and respectable articles, you have to go to the sources that pay for that quality of work: writers who research, interview, fact check and are subject to editors; photographers on locale who capture the image; and designers who marry the two—all benefit the community they serve. There is something innately pleasurable about things that are crafted by many in a creative and mindful effort.

In the pages of this magazine, a taste of summer in Telluride is offered. Whether you’ve attended the Bluegrass Festival or not, join Rob Story as he delves into the utilitarian arts of queuing up and claiming ground. You’ll encounter the sated, sunburned and over-served who come for the music and stay for the scene.

If music is your calling, and up on that stage is where you’d rather be, meet a lady who’s had that age-old fantasy come true. Writer and rock star Suzanne Cheavens will take you on a mystery tour: Discover how a middle-age mother became a guitar-ripping member of an all-female rock-and-roll band.

If you’d rather play outdoors, then get to know the denizens of this sanctuary: Trees—the barometers of change—color the landscape, cool the planet and provide wildlife habitat. Paul Bloom, a professor of psychology at Yale, said in an article for The New York Times Magazine, “People like to be close to oceans, mountains and trees…. Being in wild places reduces stress.” Well, Telluride has wild mountains and trees aplenty. Take a gander at what’s playing out for the area’s forests.

When the first explorers came to Southwest Colorado, the landscape was very different. The Spanish passed through the region in the 1700s, looking for riches and a route to the Pacific Coast from Mexico. Paul O’Rourke weaves a historic tale of virgin exploration and tenacity, driven by that age-old desire to claim and conquer.

A century later, the first prospectors came to the San Juans. They quickly cut down the trees and erected a town. Even though Italians, Swedes, Finns and Austrians settled in Telluride, the architecture of the United Kingdom dominated home design. Lance Waring, writer and housepainter, lays out the palette for a Victorian veneer, with a splash of lavender and a hint of green.

Speaking of green, go to work with editor Lise Waring. You may not be able to keep up, but in an effort to offer a bit of a reprieve to our carbon-choked atmosphere, she challenged herself to commute via calorie power—all year long. The mind wanders when one elects to take time away from all the rhetoric.

This is the gut of Western civilization—we communicate…about everything.

Enjoy the read,


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